Sturm & Drang, New Drawings
“My most recent series of drawings exists at the intersection of two often combative forces of nature: her overpowering turbulence versus her serenely rhythmic patterns and cycles.”
- Christopher Murphy, 2013
Lora Schlesinger is pleased to announce Christopher Murphy’s fifth solo-exhibition with the gallery. Sturm and Drang features new exquisitely rendered drawings by the artist. The exhibition opens with the artist’s reception on Saturday, April 20 from 5 – 7 pm and is on view through June 1, 2013.
Using photos from his own travels in addition to found ones (from his family albums, estate sales, and thrift stores) as the basis for his work, Murphy create entirely new realities by dramatically restaging the action, recontextualizing figures, or inventing scenarios. The satiny grays of the graphite nod to the often black and white photographic origins of these pieces. Additionally, his drawings are connected to the verisimilar miniature dioramas and scale models that he fastidiously constructed as a child; he endeavors to render mountains, trees, figures, and scenes with the same attention to detail he once gave to an N-Gauge railroad car or tin soldier's epaulettes.
Murphy takes a Romantic approach in his depiction of nature, with a particular interest in the dual qualities of terror and beauty that can simultaneously be experienced in natures presence—a kind of tragic joy. He searches for the aesthetic beauty in the power of a violent conflagration, or depicting the placidity in the aftermath of a flood, or using composition to portray an explosive moment as both furious and tranquil. By rendering figures as diminutive in an expansive landscape, from behind, or completely absent, it is Murphy’s attempt to guide the gaze of the viewer, either inviting them into the environment directly or providing a mediating perspective through which to experience the sublime sweep of these places or events.
Murphy was born in 1977 and grew up in Irvine, CA. He earned his B.F.A. from Art Center College of Design in 2002, with the highest honor of graduation with distinction, on a full tuition scholarship from the school. His work has been reviewed by The Los Angeles Times, Artweek, and Art Papers.